JetBlue Airways will relocate its Houston operations to Bush Intercontinental Airport on Oct. 27, leaving the smaller Hobby Airport.
In a news release, the airline said the relocation is "aimed at strengthening JetBlue's relevance in New York and Boston, while also growing the carrier's customer base in Houston."
JetBlue flies nonstop from Houston to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and the Boston Logan International Airport in Massachusetts.JetBlue's been serving Hobby for well over a decade, which makes the decision a bit unexpected. I guess they finally decided that being a bit player in Southwest's fortress hub - they accounted for 1.3% of boardings in fiscal year 2018, as opposed to Southwest's 93.4% - was simply no longer a viable business strategy. Pretty much every other airline is up at Intercontinental (including United, which accounted for 77.4% of IAH's enplaned passengers in 2018), so maybe JetBlue believes that Bush IAH offers advantages relating to economy of agglomeration or business traveler preference that don't exist at Hobby.
JetBlue is not the first airline to make this decision; Frontier tried to fly out of Hobby earlier this decade but switched its services back to IAH after less than two years. It's just hard to compete head-to-head with Southwest.
It's been over a decade since I last flew JetBlue, but I liked them and I hope their decision to switch airports keeps them participating in the Houston market. The HAIF forums have further discussion.